Exploring a Man-Made Forest in Lahore - Changa Manga
The province of Punjab is known for its fertile land and beautiful forests. There are many kinds of animals such as birds, deer, and monkeys. Some of the most attractive forests can be found in this area.
One of them is the Changa Manga forest which is one of the world's biggest man-made forests. This blog will talk about that forest but first, let's take a look at some quick facts about it.
Quick Facts About the Changa Manga Forest
80km Southwest of Lahore
Around 12,510 Acres
Plantation Started in 1866
One of the Largest Man-made Wildlife Reserves
A Brief History of the Wildlife Reserve of Changa Manga
This wildlife reserve has a plantation that is more than a century old. In 1866, Mr. B. Ribbentrop was the Inspector General of Forests in British India and studied the forest area of Changa Manga. He found places to plant long-rooted bar trees from 1871 to 1872. Harvesting began in Changa Manga in 1881 when the forest had grown for fifteen years or so.
Story Behind the Unique Name of the Changa Manga Forest
The name "Changa Manga" comes from folklore. There is a story about two brothers. They were outlaws and they used the forest as a shelter to escape from police. In this story, these two dacoits are popular among locals.
Even though the police caught them, the forest site is still called after these brothers because of this story about them.
Location of Changa Manga
The Changa Manga forest is in the Kasur District, which is about 80 km southwest of Lahore. It is near the National Highway 5 (N-5). The size of the forest is 12,510 acres. This makes it the largest wildlife reserve in Pakistan.
Best Routes to Get to Changa Manga Wildlife Park
So, which is the best route to get to Changa Manga? It may depend on where you are coming from. The forest can be reached by using these routes.
- From Islamabad: Via Lahore-Islamabad M2 Motorway (437 km, roughly a 5-hour drive)
- From Lahore: Via N-5 Highway (80 km, a little less than a two-hour drive)
- From Sahiwal: Via N-5 Highway (110 km, around a two-hour drive)
- From Multan: Via M4 and Lahore’s M3 Motorway (approximately 310 km, roughly a 4-hour drive)
Habitat and Wildlife in Changa Manga Forest
As mentioned earlier the Changa Manga forest is one of the largest man-made wildlife reserves. So, it is home to a variety of plants and animal species. The flora and fauna of the forest are described below briefly.
Tree Species in Changa Manga
Trees like Acacia Nilotica (Kikar), Eucalyptus (Safaidah), and Dalbergia Sissoo (Sheesham) are in the forest. They make the forest a good place for wild animals and birds to live.
Wildlife Species in Changa Manga
Changa Manga is one of the world's oldest game reserves and people can see different types of wildlife there. There are peafowl, jackals, mouflons, nilgais, and wild boars. Gyps vultures live in a secluded area that is also a conservation center for them. The center plays an important role in conserving wildlife in Pakistan.
Recreational Activities for Visitors at Changa Manga
The forest of Changa Manga is now being looked after by the Punjab Forest Department. They have turned a lot of it into a recreation park. Tourists can go swimming, boating, and visit the zoo at this place. There is food and places to stay at this site too.
The recreational spots in the park are linked to a tram that runs all over the park. There are also some bridges that people can walk on.
The Changa Manga forest is a very nice place to explore. You can see trees, plants, animals, and different things that are fun. People come to this forest for lots of reasons.
Some people pay money to get in and do things like go on rides. Others don't pay anything but they might not be able to do all of the paid recreational activities.
The Changa Manga wildlife park is very interesting. There are many different types of trees and animals. It's perfect for people who are studying biology or the environment because they can learn a lot about these subjects here.
So, Changa Manga is one of the largest man-made forests in South Asia. It is home to many birds and wildlife species and you should definitely visit it sometime!